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News

Batavia City Council votes to extend disaster declaration

Virtual meeting held April 6

Batavia City Hall
Batavia City Hall

BATAVIA – The Batavia City Council at its meeting April 6 voted to extend the city’s disaster declaration for the same time period as the state of emergency issued by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Voting to extend the declaration prolongs Mayor Jeff Schielke’s emergency powers for the same length of time. The vote was 13 yes votes and one absent.

Pritzker extended the proclamation to April 30 last week.

The council also approved Schielke’s three previously enacted executive orders in the past month.

As noted in the meeting by city attorney Roman Seckel, any emergency order the mayor enacts under the disaster ordinance comes before the city council for approval ratification at the next council meeting.

“So if there’s something [that] the mayor does through an executive order under this ordinance that the council does not approve of, they can take action at the next council meeting,” Seckel said.

The first executive order allowed businesses with packaged liquor or on-premise licenses to have curbside or home delivery liquor sales. The vote passed with 12 yes votes, one no vote and one present vote.

The council noted that the Illinois Liquor Control Commission released further guidance in a bulletin March 29 that the commission has not “authorized the sale of premixed cocktails in nonoriginal containers for off-premises consumption.”

The second emergency order disallowed controlled burns of wetlands during the stay-at-home order. The vote tallied 13 yes votes and one absent vote.

The third emergency order allowed electronic bid opening. The vote tallied 13 yes votes and one absent vote.

The council also approved a resolution that initiated the Submission of a Public Referenda for the November referendum ballot later this year on the following yes-no question: “Shall the City of Batavia allow the sale of recreational adult-use cannabis within its jurisdiction, subject to statutorily permissible restrictions?”

The motion passed with 12 yes votes and two absent votes.

The referendum result will be viewed as advisory, not binding. However, city officials previously have indicated they plan to comply with the will of the voters.

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